When I first went to the Kuchinate Showroom I thought I was in the wrong area. Sderot Har Zion looks like an industrial area — not very inviting. Luckily, I met a nice woman who was on her way to Kuchinate. No. 104 has a silver metal gate, which we passed through on our way to the first floor, then we turned left. The minute I entered the showroom it opened up a totally different world – colourful beautiful baskets in all sizes on the shelves, women chatting, children running around.
“Kuchinate” means crochet in Tigrinya. The women that are crocheting the baskets by hand are asylum seekers from African countries, mainly Eritrea and Ethiopia. Many female asylum seekers are survivors of human trafficking and torture, and this project is supporting them in many ways.
They not only sell baskets but also poufs and carpets, and if you don’t have got time to visit their showroom, you can also find assorted products by them at the shop of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art in Shaul Hamelech Boulevard 27 (no entrance fee for the shop), at Shabazi 36 and in many street fairs they visit (check on their Facebook page).